Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Leg cramps: 4 ways to relieve your discomfort

If you suffer from leg cramps, you’re probably already aware of how painful they can be. Any muscle in the leg can be affected, and these bouts of pain  can occur suddenly and in any situation. So that you’re better prepared to deal with this condition, here are four ways that you can relieve the discomfort. 

1. Massage therapy 


If you’re looking for a way to lessen your leg cramp aches and pains, you could give massage therapy a go. Massaging the affected area can increase circulation in the tissue, which in turn helps loosen and relax the muscles to prevent them from going into spasm. Normally, massage therapy is carried out by a trained professional during a scheduled session. However, it is possible to experience this treatment from the comfort of your own home too. For example, if your leg cramps are particularly bad at night, you could invest in a bed which has an inbuilt massage function. Specialists Adjustamatic provide beds that feature unique NHC Cyclo-Therapy technology, which can help prevent and relieve leg cramps through vibrations and pulsating motions. 

2. Stretching 

Practicing some simple stretching exercises can help prevent leg cramps from happening, and there are certain techniques you can use during an episode to speed up your recovery. For example, to reduce your chances of getting cramps in the future, you should aim to stretch the muscles that are prone to tensing up. If your calf muscle is the problem area, you could try standing in front of a wall with your arms outstretched, keeping your feet flat on the floor. Leaning forward, you should touch the wall and hold the position for approximately five seconds. Repeating this throughout the day is recommended, and you should try to fit some stretches in before you head to bed. 

During an episode of leg cramp, you should stretch and massage the affected area. For instance, you can relieve cramp in your calf by straightening your leg and lifting up your foot. As you do this, you should make sure that your ankle is bent so that your toes are pointing in the direction of your shin. Alternatively, you could try walking around on the heels of your feet. Your doctor should be able to suggest other stretching techniques that you can try. 

3. Painkillers 


If you’re struck down with leg cramps, you could try taking painkillers to reduce your discomfort. You can access over-the-counter medicines such as paracetamol and ibuprofen from your local pharmacist or supermarket. Using painkillers is a simple way to keep your leg-related aches and pains at bay. 

4. Quinine 

Although it was originally used to treat malaria, quinine is a medicine that has been proven to be effective at reducing the frequency of leg cramps. However, there are a number of unpleasant side effects associated with quinine, some of which can be life threatening. Due to the potential risks involved with taking this medicine, you should only be prescribed quinine if the benefits outweigh the risks. Usually, quinine is prescribed when you have exhausted all other preventive measures and if your leg cramps are hindering your quality of life. For further information and advice in regards to this medicine, you can speak to your GP. 

Putting some of these suggestions into practice should help you take control of your leg cramps. 

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